Soggy Windom Balun

Here are photos of the current Balun on our Carolina Windom antenna. This Balun hangs vertically in the air, and we discovered that the small “weep hole” was inadvertently installed upside-down, allowing moisture to easily enter the inside cavity. We found lots of water inside and significant contaminant the grew inside which compromised the balun, likely for years. After a cleanup, it has been re-housed in a new PVC tube with ends. It’s now re-installed and ready for operation again!

AB5SS Observation of UAS photo

John, AB5SS, has already keenly spotted some significant items after examine the recent  UAS drone photography.

“… the brackets are clamped to the vertical legs instead of resting on the horizontal braces.  See pic below of how they “should” be installed.  As you might guess, the problem with the way they are installed is they can crimp the legs (although they are thick wall steel tubing), but worse and more likely, they eventually slice down the tower to rest on the bracing, and guy tension is reduced….The factory guy attach link is missing, and the cable is rubbing directly against the attach point bolt (no thimble installed).  I can’t tell if the cable clamps are installed correctly or not…”

Bracket at 40′ with same problems
Bracket at 80′ with problems described above
This is the correct seating for a guy wire bracket.
Another view of a properly installed bracket


Final Hex Tower Work

KJ4QJW, N9RCS, KG5HOK, W5OC spent Saturday May 27, from 9AM-4PM finishing work making coax and control line connections and the guying down of the crank up tower. Using the in-place coax and rotor control wiring which runs from the tower base to inside the shack, Stu, KJ4QJW, terminated the connections at both end and discovered the “missing” connection lines behind the W5RRR service panel.  Bob, N9RCS, spent his time architecting a solid and safe guying configuration as we decided to limit the height to approx 40′ which adequately clears the surrounding treetops. Keith, KG5HOK, helped finish up the wire clamping and measuring of the laborious placement of wire clamps on our three lines.  AB5SS, John, swung by to help, we we were already done!

The Hexbeam is now available for use.

Updated status of Hex Beam build

Mike Vandewalle, N8MTV, offered a helpful hand to put the finishing touches onto the hexbeam project last nite 5/23.

The missing 15m directive and reflective wire element had finally arrived from KIO Technologies and it was carefully installed on the spiderweb-like antenna after the whole antenna was unmounted from the tower and brought back to ground level.  Mike also installed a series of clamp-on ferrite choke beads on the coax.  Without this ferrite choke, common mode RF currents flow on the outside of the coax making the feedline act like another antenna. The causes unwanted radiated RF power which will distort the front/back performance or front/side performance of the hexagonal beam.   This Saturday will be our antenna raising party, where we will crank it up and test it’s performance in the shack.  6m, 10m, 15m, 17m, 20m all in one spiderweb!


Hex beam @ W5RRR


Hex beam project getting real.

Mother’s Day was spent getting up a used K4KIO hex.

The good news:  it unexpected included a 6m capability.

The bad new:  it didn’t come with 15m wires

Ultimately, it will be a multi-band antenna to include 6m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m.

I’ll order the 15m wires this week, but in the meantime its mostly assembled with a few items to work on this week

Mounted on the newly installed TV rotor atop the 50′ crank up mast, perhaps we’ll see this setup active in the next week or so.

Also brought in an old 6 element 2m yagi.  Anyone interested in mounting this below the hex beam?

Stay tuned.

73 W5OC


A confessional

Gary, KE5AMW, is a CW guy.  He’s gotten me interested to sharpen my CW skills that have rusted over the years.

I confess– he’s also inspired me to finally learn how to use a CW mechanical Bug, something I’ve put off for years.  I bought this off of eBay a long time ago, but never learned how to key it.

Yep, I did it!  I’m barely a novice with it now, but I practiced awhile and can do it!  How any of the newer hams have seen one of these creatures?  I’ll bring it into the next club meeting and hook up to a code practice oscillator for anyone wanting to give it test drive.  I’m sure there are some bug experts in the club; maybe we’ll get them to show us how to do it.

Check this out


W5RRR Crankup Tower

KG5HOK devised a cleverly simple u-bolt mounting scheme to get our temporary 50′ crackup tower up for operation.

It will live at the empty concrete slab until we can get the plans (and funds) in place to re-erect the 60′ full sized tower.

This weekend, we’ll make an attempt to mount a lightweight rotor and a 10-20m multi-band HexBeam antenna.

Stay tuned for pix of progress.